Eight days married.
It is strange. Nothing has changed and everything is different. It's in a good way - but it's different. I knew it would be, and yet here I am still kinda' hung up on it.
No matter. I promised you a review of the ceremony and a review you shall have. At the rehearsal on the previous day, we had walked through getting the family in and situated, getting the stuff set up, getting the basics walked through. What a great idea that was because while the real thing was all going on as I was cloistered up in my panic room-slash-bridal suite unable to watch it unfold or fix any other small details. Our dads walked in and brought with them a pitcher of local mineral water and an antique goblet. Our moms walked in and each brought with them a lovely boxwood wreath to place between the assembled throng and the closest of our family memebers - memorializing our ancestors and giving them permission to attend while also marking off a place for them to be during the entire process. Don't be fooled, kids, there was magic about and I had done my best to make sure of it.
So the sun blazed at that brutal 4:30 angle in Colorado autumns where you can sorta see, but not really. It shone strongly and clearly behind us through a crystal blue sky - one of the retina-searingly blue skies you get in Colorado autumns. Much to the unexpected chagrin of our assembled throng, as soon as our families found their seats, my groom and I walked in at the same time - from opposite wings of the ceremony site and just suprised the hell out of everyone. They were waiting for me to walk down the aisle and then uh-oh, there we were all ready *poof* up at the ceremony site with our officiant. Hee hee hee. I'm tricksy that way.
Oh my goodness I was shaking. Honestly I can't tell you much nuts and bolts about the ceremony, like how long it took or what happened when. Time stopped and went too fast at the same time. All I could do was shake, and smile, and just feel utterly overcome with that once-in-a-lifetime feeling that a bride gets when all of her dreams come true. Geh, that seems a little saccharine, but you know what I mean. I glistened in the sun. I was a bride. My groom stood before me and took my hands and I'll be darned if I didn't see him fight back a leaky tearduct or two. He also glistened in the sun. He stood up there like a warrior and a scholar and a prince and he just looked at me and held my hands. I don't know if it was the sun on my face or the power of the moment or the strength of his gaze; I felt blast-furnace heat all around me.
We said our lines. We performed an effortless water ceremony (which was lucky because that goblet was a priceless antique basically)(that's what the pitcher and the goblet were for). Suddenly there was a ring on my finger. There I was putting a ring on my groom's finger. I heard a high-pitched ... something... in the back of my head. The giant tree in the middle of the patio shook lightly and the sun dipped even closer to the tops of the mountains behind us. Birds flew overhead (ravens, I'm told) and then I was kissing my husband.
I felt both weak and strong - like a windsock in a tornado I guess... because I couldn't really feel my feet or my shoulders or my face anymore. All that was left was just a rushing sensation - a charging, forceful rushing sensation had filled me up from stem to stern. There was nothing left of me. I was still shaking and laughing and smiling - and as each person came in to hug us and congratulate us... a tiny little piece of me fell back into place. Hugs and congratulations and then there were hors-d'ourves. Everything was glisteningly perfect. Then I was signing something. I had to ask what my name was. Other people were signing it too. There was a hanky in my hands but I wasn't crying. The whole world glistened.
That ceremony was a thunderstrike of magic and power and true perfection. It was perfect because of what it was - not because of what I wanted it to be. I think that's a big lesson I should hope every future bride can discover... that the perfect wedding doesn't come from the billions-of-barcodes weddings you see on TV or the "dreamt of it since I was 3" hysteria that our society wraps us up in. Perfection isn't about toenails matching napkins or linnens contrasting with favor ribbons. A perfect wedding, a REALLY perfect wedding, happens when the bride can say to herself "I have set up the things which I think are important, I have added some things which we all can find lovely, and everything that happens now is going to be great because it is the day when my true love promises to spend his whole life with me - and nothing else matters."
After all, nobody remembered to give boutonniers to anyone, and I did the whole thing with my gorgeous bouquet still in the fridge.
It was a perfect day. It was a perfect ceremony.
and oh lord, that reception. I'll have to give you THAT story next. But you already can guess that it was absolutely perfect.